Would Guard Rails Help On The 219 In Springville?
It's a stretch of road that many of us in Western New York Drive every day. Now, some people are calling for the installation of guard rails on the 219.
If you've ever driven the 219 from Orchard Park to Springville, you know that it's a pretty straight road. There aren't a lot of curves. But today on Facebook, I noticed that some people were calling for guard rails to be installed.
The comment comes just days after a 37-year-old man died after going off the road and crashing into the concrete pier for the bridge. Would a guard rail have saved his life?
Being from Springville myself, I have driven that highway many times. Years ago the speed limit was changed from 55mph to 65mph and it made it much faster to get from Springville to Buffalo and some of the surrounding suburbs. But did it make it more dangerous?
I also went off the road one night and completely lucked out. I was headed southbound on the 219 just before the Rice Road exit where the southbound lane is actually higher than the northbound lane. The median slopes towards the southbound lane. At the time, I was still a part-timer that had just finished an overnight shift after working my regular full-time job. I had overdone it and my body simply shut down. I fell asleep while my car was driving 70 mph on cruise control. The only thing that woke me up was when my car left the road and I felt that weightlessness you get in the middle of a jump. Luckily when I woke up in a shock and fishtailed my way to a stop, I hadn't hit anything. I don't know who was with me that morning, but there's no doubt someone was.
The argument on Facebook is that the only thing that will stop people from going off the road at 70 mph is a responsible driver. I'll admit that I wasn't responsible when I went off the road but there are plenty of responsible drivers who have too. It takes nothing to swerve out of the way of wildlife or another driver on those roads, or be caught in a whiteout. How many traffic jams would ensue if guardrails were there?
But would a guardrail be a safer option? Would they create more issues for people who are instead running into the guardrail?
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of that victim.